KENYA – Dr. Patrick Amoth, the acting Director-General at the ministry of health has been appointed as WHO’s executive board chairperson.
He takes over from India’s Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, whose term ended on June 2 after chairing three consecutive Board sessions, since 2019.
This follows his earlier appointment in May 2020 to position of Vice President of the WHO Executive Board as a representative of the African region.
Kenya was elected to the Executive Board in 2019, and was previously represented by Dr. Masasabi John, until January 2020, when Dr. Amoth was appointed as the substantive member.
Dr Amoth is a consultant obstetrician and gynecologist of immense repute. He has previously served as the Directorate of Public Health at the Ministry, where he spearheaded strategy development for effective delivery of health services in all the 47 counties in Kenya and was centrally involved in the inception and alignment of Universal Health Coverage for the country.
During his tenure at the Ministry of Health, Amoth became a household name in the country with the uprise of the Covid-19 pandemic. He spearheaded containment measures and public advisory sessions on the virus together with counterparts in the ministry.
The country has reported well over 150 thousand Covid cases with a death toll of a round 3000 people to date. Kenya is among the many African nations striving to vaccine its people despite supply challenges and geographic disadvantage.
This appointment is set to better position health care service provision in Kenya and Africa at large with Amoth’s vow to endeavor to serve with dignity and honor for the betterment of his country, continent and WHO.
The WHO Executive Board is composed of 34 technically qualified members elected for three-year terms. The Annual Board meeting is held in January when the members agree upon the agenda for the World Health Assembly and the resolutions to be considered by the Health Assembly.
Following his appointment, Patrick Amoth expressed his gratitude to WHO member states for according him and Kenya to serve in this position. The chairperson said he hopes to help eradicate the Covid-19 pandemic in the three years he would be at the helm of the WHO Executive Board.
“During my term, I hope that we can purpose as Member States to spare no effort in striving to end to the ongoing pandemic and secure a healthier and sustainable future. We must endeavor to utilize all the available tools at our disposal and remain steadfast in our fidelity to the basic founding principles of our great organization towards the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health,” he said.